'Dogs' Austin continues stellar week

Yankees prospect batting .429 through first seven Sally games

By Andrew Pentis / Special to MLB.com | April 14, 2012 7:17 PM ET

The baseball must be looking very big to Tyler Austin these days.

The Yankees' No. 15 prospect went 4-for-4 -- his fourth consecutive multi-hit game -- and scored twice Saturday to lead the Class A Charleston River Dogs to an 8-5 road win over the Rome Braves.

Austin, 20, walked in the first inning, doubled in the second, doubled again in the fourth and singled in the seventh and eighth. He leads the South Atlantic League with a .429 batting average through his first seven games.

Perhaps being close to home before the last three games has helped. The 2010 13th-round Draft pick out of Heritage High School in Conyers, Ga. -- an approximate two-hour drive from Rome -- played in front of family members on Saturday. He homered twice Thursday, doubled and singled on Friday and continued his success at State Mutual Stadium. The Yanks finish their four-game series with the Braves on Sunday afternoon.

Switching positions also doesn't seem to be disturbing Austin's play. He played first base in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League and third base in the short-season New York-Penn League -- he batted .354 in 47 games between the two stops last year -- and started out in right field this season. He was slotted at designated hitter in the cleanup position Saturday.

Last Aug. 21 for Staten Island, Austin went 6-for-6 with a homer, three doubles and four RBIs.

On Saturday, he had a lot of help. Leadoff man Mason Williams and third baseman Dante Bichette Jr., who both rank among New York's Top 10 prospects, recorded two-hit games. Williams (.308), Bichette (.324) are off to similarly strong starts in their first full seasons.

Braves starter Carlos Perez (0-1) bore the brunt of the RiverDogs' attack, getting charged with six runs on nine hits over 3 2/3 innings.

Charleston counterpart Scottie Allen (1-1) gave up four runs on six hits over five frames.

The RiverDogs have taken five of six meetings with Rome this season.

Andrew Pentis is a contributor to MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at AndrewMiLB. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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